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The national coordinator of the Presidential TaskForce (PTF) on COVID-19, Sani Aliyu, has explained how the second phase of the gradual easing of lockdown will be implemented.

Mr Aliyu who spoke at a daily briefing of the task force on Monday said the new guidelines will be effective from Tuesday, June 2.

President Muhammadu Buhari had on April 27 announced the gradual easing of a five-week lockdown in FCT, Lagos and Ogun States.

The lockdown was eased to a nationwide night curfew (8 p.m. to 6 a.m.) from May 4 to May 17.

The first phase of the lockdown was subsequently extended by two weeks which elapses by midnight today.

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, had announced that the second phase of the gradual easing of the lockdown will commencement on June 2.

He said this phase will last for an initial period of four weeks.

Nationwide curfew

Mr Aliyu said the existing nationwide curfew of 8 p.m to 6 a.m imposed by President Buhari to limit the spread of the virus has been reviewed.

He said the curfew would henceforth be from 10 p.m .to 4 a.m. daily.

“Just to clarify, the purpose of the curfew is to limit social interactions and, therefore, reduce the risk of transmission of the virus,” he said.

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‘Banks’

Mr Aliyu said all banks in the country are allowed to resume fully from Tuesday.

“Full opening of financial sector – banks are now allowed to operate normal working hours, five days a week,” he said.

Before now, banks were allowed to operate between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m.

‘Religious gathering’

Mr Aliyu also announced the lifting of ban placed on religious gatherings in the country.

He, however, said the opening of places of worship will be based on state government’s protocols.

“Restricted opening of places of worship, (regular church & mosque services ONLY), will be based on State Government protocols and restrict guidelines on physical distancing and other non-pharmaceutical interventions,” he said.

He noted that the gathering of more than 20 people is still highly prohibited.

“The mass gathering of more 20 persons outside of workplaces or place of worship remains prohibited,” he said.

Interstate travel

He said that the existing interstate ban remains in place.

He said movement across state borders remains restricted other than the free movement of goods and essential services.

“Interstate travel by individuals remains prohibited except for goods &essential travel.

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“Just to make it clear all restrictions on the free movement of goods and services are now removed in this phase,” he said.

He urged the security services to cooperate with the public to ensure goods are allowed free passage.

He said this particular phase is directed at ensuring the economy starts moving again.

Offices

He said government offices are allowed to open from Mondays to Fridays.

“Normal working would apply to offices other than government offices provided this is kept within the curfew hours.

“Offices are to maintain the two metres physical distances.

“For government offices, they can open between 9am and 2pm and can work from Monday to Fridays.

“However only persons that are within the grade 14 and above will be allowed to come to work, he said”.

‘Local Flights’

He said the aviation sector will begin to develop protocols that will lead to the resumption of domestic flights any time from June 21.

“Aviation Industry requested to start developing protocols for domestic flights to possibly resume from June 21 onwards,” he said.

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“Airlines must ensure physical distancing by reducing passenger capacity, ensure the provision of sanitizers, and appropriate PPEs as well as carrying out temperature checks at the point of entry and departure and ensuring that airports are not congested by either travelers or airport staff.”

Hotels, restaurants, schools

He said hotels may open but must observe all non-pharmaceutical interventions.

He also said restaurants outside of hotels must remain closed for eat-in.

“Bars, gyms, cinemas, nightclubs, parks closed until further evaluation,” he said.

He also said all schools to remain closed until further evaluation.

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Abass Sulaiman Adegoke, well known as Adegoke is a student of Federal Polytechnic Ede studying Civil Engineering, He is a media enthusiast, loves traveling, and has a special interest in personal development.

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Health

COVID-19 Allowances: Lagos doctors declare 3 days warning strike

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Medical doctors in Lagos on Sunday declared a three- day warning strike over the state government’s failure to meet their demands.
The doctors under the auspices of Medical Guild are striking over wage disparity between the Federal and Lagos state doctors, COVID-19 Hazard allowances and inducement allowances MOU approved by the Federal Government, non-payment of doctors working in isolation centre as well as unceremoniously disengagement of doctors in the isolation centres without recourse to their welfare.
It could be recalled that the doctors had early served a 21 -day ultimatum to the state government and later extended it by two weeks during which the doctors and the officials of government met but failed to agree.
READ ALSO: Lagos doctors begin 3 days warning strike Monday
Announcing this at a press conference in Lagos, shortly after a meeting with the State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Sanwo-Olu, the Chairman of the Medical Guild, Dr. Oluwajimi Sodipo who said the strike will begin 8 am Monday and ends on Thursday 16th, 2020 said doctors in the isolation Centres were exempted from the strike.
Further explaining the rationale behind the strike, Sodipo said: “if the state government had met 70 per cent of their demands within the period their ultimatum lasted and the two weeks extension, the strike would have been averted.
Giving details of their demands, he said: That the wage disparity between Federal and Lagos State doctors is not being given necessary attention by the government.
“That the issue of COVID 19 hazard allowances and inducement allowances MOU approved by the federal government to her doctors is not being approved by the state government to her doctors.
“That doctors working in the COVID 19 isolation Centres are still being owed two months salaries which have remained unpaid at the moment, they are also being unceremoniously disengaged.”

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He further said the congress would reconvene at the end of the three days strike to review the progress made and plan for further action.
Speaking, an ex-officio of the Medical Guild, Dr. Babajide Saheed lamented that the government had the opportunity to avert the warning strike but failed to use it.
“The government had the opportunity to avert the warning strike if they had made efforts to do the needful.” they had made efforts to do the needful.”
He said if the government can come up with a circular to do the needful within 24 hours the strike could still be averted

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News

Nigeria, China finalising negotiations on N43.24bn Ibadan port

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Negotiations between the Federal Government and China Railway Construction Corporation Limited for the construction of the Ibadan Inland Dry Port is nearing completion , the Nigerian Shippers’ Council announced on Sunday .

The CRCC is the preferred bidder for the proposed dry port to be established in the capital of Oyo State.

The NSC, which described this as a major milestone , is the guarantor to the concession of the proposed 80 ,000 twenty -foot equivalent unit capacity dry port to be built on the basis of public -private partnership agreement .

It said in a statement issued in Abuja by the Head , Public Relations , NSC , Rakiya Zubairu, that on completion , the facility would help address the problem of port congestion and gridlock in Apapa , Lagos .

The council said the Ibadan facility would be designated a port of destination where cargo would be consolidated for import and export , especially in the south -western part of Nigeria .

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“ Among other uses , the dry port will provide a competitive cargo sorting centre, bulk breaking as well as cargo -tracking and truck management services ,” Zubairu said.

The council said, “ This project , which has been estimated at $ 94 m ( N 43 .24 bn ) , will boost employment in Oyo State and other cities in the environs. ”

It said the Lagos -Kano standard gauge railway , currently under construction, was aligned to the proposed dry port , making it easy to convey cargo from the seaports in Lagos and to all destinations along the route.

The NSC said the negotiations emphasised the utilisation of local content at each stage of development and operation of the facility .

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It said, “ Having concluded this stage , an updated full business case compliance report will be produced . A draft agreement will be presented to the Federal Ministry of Justice and sent to the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission for vetting .

“ After that , the Minister of Transportation will present the agreement to the Federal Executive Council. The concessionaire will then be taken to the site for sod- turning . It is expected that construction will commence immediately after the ceremony. The timeline for completion is 12 months .”

The council noted that the negotiations were moderated by the Federal Ministry of Transportation led by the acting Permanent Secretary and the Director , Maritime Services , Auwalu Suleiman .

Other persons involved in the negotiations include the Director -General, ICRC , Chidi Izuwa , and a representative of the Federal Ministry of Finance , Jummai Katagum .

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The four – day negotiations also had the Secretary to Government of Oyo State , Olubamiwo Adeosun , in attendance , while the CRCC was led by its Deputy Managing Director, Jacques Liao .

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